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Otrobanda and Rif Fort are in the foreground, while the Queen Emma Bridge is the pontoon bridge in the center, with the colorful buildings of Willemstad in the background.
Rif Fort, Otrobanda

Otrobanda is one of the historically important quarters of Willemstad, the capital of Curaçao.

The district was developed in the 18th cenury and picked up in the early 19th century when the once walled city of Punda became overpopulated. Otrobanda was connected to Punda in 1888 via the Queen Emma Bridge (affectionately known as "The Swinging Old Lady") and in 1974 by the Queen Juliana Bridge. The main center of Willemstad is separated in two quarters: Punda and Otrabanda, which stands for 'city' and 'the other side'.

Kura Hulanda is one of the best restorations of Otrabanda.[1] Many of the over 700 UNESCO listed buildings in Willemstad have been restored and or renovated (on the inside) to serve as homes, shops, offices and accommodations like Poppy Hostel Curacao.[2]

The restored area now shelters Riffort Village, a shopping and entertainment center that offers panoramic views of Punda and the sea. The Brionplein (Brion Plaza) is the centerpiece of Otrobanda’s waterfront.

Rif Fort[edit]

The Rif Fort[3] is a 19th-century defense monument that was built to protect the island from the invasion of pirates and enemies. Its key location was centered in the heart of Curaçao.[3] It lies at the entrance of the St. Anna Bay in the western Otrabanda neighborhood.[4] Rif Fort is made of 1.5-meter thick coral walls that once stored over 56 cannons. Today, Rif Fort became a tourist attraction that features great local restaurants, live entertainment, trendy bars with Latin and Caribbean music and the rough waves that smash through the ends of the walls. The Fort was redeveloped by the Renaissance Curaçao Resort and Casino. Locals and tourists visit this site very frequent.


The Renaissance shopping mall[5] is a new and modern shopping center that stands right across Rif Fort. It's tall red buildings and bright green plants make it a pleasant place for tourists to shop at. The mall contains various luxury shops such as Tommy Hilfiger, Armani Exchange, Tiffany & Co and Guess. It is only a short walking distance from the pontoon bridge and next to the mega pier where the large cruise ships dock. The Renaissance Shopping mall offers on-site free parking and opens from 9 a.m to 5 p.m every day. Several new stores are projected to open in 2018.


  1. ^ "Otrobanda".
  2. ^ "Poppy Hostel Curacao". Poppy Hostel.
  3. ^ a b User, Super. "Castles.nl - Rif Fort". www.castles.nl.
  4. ^ "Renaissance Mall and Rif Fort".
  5. ^ http://wwww.shopsrenaissancecuracao.com/

Coordinates: 12°06′32″N 68°56′13″W / 12.109°N 68.937°W / 12.109; -68.937